What should I do?

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

I have had asthma for the last three years and I have had skin diseases from childhood.

Skin disease and asthma are interrelated. They replace each other and both are due to emotional congestion. You can practise yoga according to the book Yogic Management of Asthma and Diabetes, one of our publications. You can practise vastra dhauti, kunjal, pranayama, shashankasana, it is all right, but please remember that asthma and skin disease are caused by emotional congestion. There is something wrong in the upper channel. Just doing kunjal will only create some sort of relief. You might be all right in a few months or in two or three years, but actually you must try to get rid of that emotional congestion in your personality. In order to do that you must practise what we call ‘inner shankhaprakshalana’. External shankhaprakshalana is practised with the help of salt water while inner shankaprakshalana is practised with the help of mantra or any strong concentration practice like trataka. And after trataka, practise antar mouna.

I am not talking about meditation. First practise trataka on a candle or a dot, bindu, or on your ishta devata. Blinkless gaze is trataka. After that, allow your mind to think whatever it likes. Do not stop it. Do not obstruct it even if it is a good or bad thought, an evil or a divine thought, a dirty or clean thought – it does not matter what thought it is. Let it come and just watch it. Don’t be affected by it. Witnessing the thought process without obstructing it is called antar mouna and it becomes more keen and rapid if it follows a short sadhana like concentration on a bindu or trataka.

Sometimes so many thoughts come during antar mouna that you cannot handle them properly. In that case, you must do some ordinary practice like japa yoga with your mantra and a mala. When you are practising mantra with a mala the mind starts vomiting; it starts thinking very much. Don’t control the mind at that time; let it go; let it move.

30 January 1982, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu